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Music goes silent as Taliban takes charge in Afghanistan

As Taliban takes complete control of Afghanistan, music becomes silent in all spheres of life

With the Taliban assuming complete control of Afghanistan, as the last of the US troops left from Kabul today morning, the Capital city has turned to an austere tone to fit in with the new regime.

According to a Reuters report, the change is visible as beauty parlours have painted over the colourful signs, traditional dress has replaced jeans and popular Persian and Hindi pop numbers have yielded place to patriotic music.

Talking to the agency, Khalid Sediqqi, a private radio station producer in Ghazni put his finger on the pulse of the public and said: "It's not that the Taliban ordered us to change anything, we have altered the programming for now as we don't want Taliban to force us to close down. Also no one in this country is in the mood for entertainment, we are all in a state of shock. I am not even sure if anyone is tuning to radio anymore."

Also read: Afghan pop star Aryana Sayeed blames Pak for funding and training Taliban

So far, the extremist outfit has refrained from harsh public punishments and complete bans similar to their previous regime in 2001 and have tried to put a conciliatory face. Stating that cultural activities are allowed as long as they aren’t against Sharia law and the country’s Islamic culture.

In Kandahar, orders had been issued instructing radio stations not to play music and allow female announcers.  Likewise, near Kabul in Laghman province, the State-run public radio and six other private ones were told to broadcast programmes that were in line with Sharia law by the Taliban’s local cultural commission.

A former official of Nangarhar, an eastern province, told the media: "There is no music in all Jalalabad city, people are scared and afraid because Taliban are beating people.”

Orders and threats such as these were hardly required as people themselves decided to makeover.

Also read: Niloofar Rahmani, Afghanistan's first female pilot, says Taliban rule will “hurt women the most”

Now, music, political, cultural and news programmes that are not related to religion are gone off the air.

According to a civil rights activist, shops and restaurants in Mazar-i-Sharif took the decision to turn of their radios on their own. “There is no warning about music, but people themselves have stopped," he said.